Payroll Tip of the Month
This page provides tips that are useful for everyone from payroll processing staff to human resource managers, to workers compensation and pension administrators. Tips for the current year are provided immediately below with older information provided in an archive at the bottom of the page.
March 2020 - Minimum Wage Increases in 2020 - Did you know that nine Canadian provinces and territories are slated for minimum wage updates this year? Some regions have been due for an increase for some time, while others will be increasing based on inflation and cost of living indexes. Certain provinces are also under review for changes to their respective rates. Click Here to view the current minimum wages rates and upcoming changes for 2020.
January 2016 - Revised Payroll Deductions Online Calculator (PDOC) - The January 1, 2020 edition of the Payroll Deductions Online Calculator (PDOC) is now available on the CRA Web site. The PDOC is an interactive web application that calculates payroll deductions for all pay periods, provinces (except for Quebec), and territories. It will help you to confirm the deductions you include on your official statement of earnings. Click Here to learn more about this valuable program.
October 2019 - Overdeducting EI or CPP Premiums - As an employer, if you over-deduct EI or CPP contributions from your employees, you should not adjust the amounts that are reported on the T4. Rather, the CRA will credit each employee for their over-contribution when they file their personal tax return. Employers can then use the PD24 form (available from the CRA website) to apply for a refund for the employer overpayment. Click Here to learn more.
August 2019 - Service Canada starts using email to reach Employment Insurance clients - Starting June 2019, if Service Canada needs more information about your Employment Insurance claim and cannot reach you by phone, a Service Canada agent will send you a toll-free number to the email address that you provided, asking you to call an agent. Click here for more information on this helpful new service.
July 2019 - Young Canada Works - Did you know that Young Canada Works (YCW) is a summer job program where eligible employers may benefit from wage subsidies and access to a pool of talented youth with innovative ideas and competitive skills? Positions last from six to 16 weeks and students must work 30 to 40 hours per week. Students with a disability are eligible for part-time work. Click Here to learn more about this program.
May 2019 - Canada Summer Jobs 2019 - Did you know that Canada Summer Jobs 2019 hiring season is underway? Employment and Social Development Canada continues to help young Canadians get the skills and experience they need to start their careers. Since 2015, the Government of Canada has doubled the number of jobs created through the Canada Summer Jobs program, creating meaningful, paid work experience for over 70,000 youth per year. Click Here to learn more about this valuable program.
March 2019 - Federal Student Work Experience Program - The CRA offers eligible students the opportunity to explore hundreds of career paths and thousands of jobs throuygh its Federal Student Work Experience Program. It also serves as an ongoing student recruitment inventory that is open year-round, and available to all departments and agencies. It offers full-time and part-time work opportunities in a wide variety of fields including sciences, trades, administration, IT, finance and many more. Click Here to learn more about this valuable program.
January 2019 - Canada Pension Plan Enhancements - As of 2019, the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) is being gradually enhanced. This means workers will receive higher benefits in exchange for making higher contributions. The CPP enhancement will only affect workers if, as of 2019, they work and make contributions to the CPP. The enhancement increases the CPP retirement pension, post-retirement benefit, disability pension and survivor's pension you may receive. Eligibility for CPP benefits is not affected. Click Here to learn more about these recent changes.
November 2018 - Wage Earner Protection Program (WEPP) - Did you know that the Wage Earner Protection Program (WEPP) provides financial support to Canadian workers, under federal, provincial and territorial jurisdictions, who are owed money when their employer files for bankruptcy or becomes subject to a receivership? The WEPP provides timely payment of eligible wages, up to an amount equalling four weeks maximum insurable earnings under the Employment Insurance Act. Click Here to learn more about this Service Canada program.
September 2018 - Tips and Gratuities - Did you know that Gratuities or tips received by employees are income earned in respect of employment for purposes of the Income Tax Act. However, it must be determined whether tips received in the course of employment are considered pensionable earnings under the CPP and/or are insurable earnings under the EIA. This answer depends on whether the tips are considered to have been paid by the employer (controlled tips), whether they are considered to have been paid by the client (direct tips) or whether they are declared tips in the province of Quebec. Click Here to learn more about the CRA's rules on these items.
July 2018 - Pay Statement Payroll Best Practices Guidelines - Did you know that the Canadian Payroll Association provides a series of Payroll Best Practices Guidelines to help you benchmark and refine your core payroll-related tasks? Members can choose from a variety of excellent guidelines including payroll audit preparation, setting up a new payroll, statutory holidays, employee or self-employed, to name a few. Try the Pay Statement Payroll Best Practices Guidelines for free today. Click Here to learn more about this useful service.
May 2018 - CRA Minimum Wage Database - The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) provides a Minimum Wage Database that lists information on current and forthcoming minimum hourly wage rates for adult workers, young workers and workers occupying specific occupations across Canada, as well as historical data on minimum wage rates in Canada since 1965. It also allows for a customized search, by jurisdiction, for general minimum wage rates. Click Here to learn more about this useful service.
March 2018 - Canada Pension Plan Enhancement Podcast From the CRA - The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) provides tax and payroll-relevant information through a series of podcasts aimed at the payroll community and employers in general. The podcasts are free digital audio files that you can stream or download from their website. The current episode finishes their two-part conversation on the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) enhancement with subject matter expert Kevin, of the Business Compliance Directorate at the CRA. Click Here to learn more about this informative information series.
January 2018 - Reducing the reporting burden for employers - In order to reduce the reduce the reporting obligations for Canadian employers, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has announced two changes (beginning in 2018) for employers who have to report taxable benefits: 1) Employers who pay group term life insurance premiums for retirees will only have to report a paid premium if it is greater than $50 and it is the only income reported on a T4A slip, and 2) The threshold for reporting employee benefits that result from employer-sponsored social events will be $150 per person, instead of $100. Click Here to learn more.
(Click a year to expand the tips for that period)
Use the archive below to view past tips-of-the-month. Keep in mind that the legislation and mandate of some of these tips may have undergone changes over the years. As always, use them as a reference only and consult the official payroll legislation for your Province as needed.
December 2017 - Gifts and Year-End Bonuses - According to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), a gift or award that you give an employee is a taxable benefit from employment, whether it is cash, near-cash, or non-cash. However, they do have an administrative policy that exempts non-cash gifts and awards in some cases. Cash and near-cash gifts or awards are always a taxable benefit for the employee. A near-cash item is one that functions as cash, such as a gift certificate or gift card, or an item that can be easily converted to cash, such as gold nuggets, securities, or stocks. Click Here to learn more.
October 2017 - Canadian Occupational Projection System (COPS) - Did you know that Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) uses the models of the Canadian Occupational Projection System (COPS) and the National Occupational Classification (NOC, 2011 version) to develop projections of future trends in the numbers of job openings and job seekers for 292 occupational groupings at the national level, covering the entire workforce. Users can search for summaries of projection results by occupation, or industry detailed projection results by occupation or industry. Click Here to learn more.
September 2017 - Step-By-Step Instruction for Completing an ROE - Did you know that Government of Canada provides block-by-block instructions for completing the Record of Employment (ROE)? If you are responsiible for issuing ROEs for your employees, or on behalf of your clients, the CRA's "How to complete the Record of Employment" guide is a useful tool to assist in the task. The guide is offered in both a downloadable PDF format and regular HTML. Click Here to learn more.
July 2017 - Labour Employment Standards Calculation Tools - Did you know that Government of Canada's Labour Program website offers a series of Labour Employment Standards Calculation Tools to assist in your payroll calculations? These include a General Holiday Calculator for figuring out holiday entitlements for most standard employment situations. Also included is a Vacation Pay Calculator that is designed to calculate minimum vacation pay entitlements for employees subject to federal labour standards legislation in a standard employment situation. Click Here to learn more.
June 2017 - Vacation Standards Compliancy and More - With the summer vacation season fast approaching, the Canadian Payroll Association (CPA) reminds employers that they have the responsibility to ensure that employees properly receive their legislated vacation leave and pay. To assist in this regard, the CPA offers a one-day seminar on employment standards in each jurisdiction. Among the topics discussed is statutory holidays and vacations. Click Here to learn more.
March 2017 - T4 reporting for certified non-resident employers - The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) states that under recently enacted legislation, a certified non-resident employer may not have to report the salary, wages, or other remuneration paid to a qualified non-resident employee if the amount is $10,000 or less if certain conditions are met. Non-resident employers who apply for non-resident employer certification, will not have to withhold and remit tax on the payments they make to non-resident employees who are working in Canada for a limited time and are exempt from tax in Canada under a tax treaty. Click Here to learn more.
January 2017 - Payroll Podcasts From the CRA - Did you know that the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) now provides a podcast series? Tune in to (or download) the very first podcast and hear from a CRA expert as she talks about taxable benefits and the key concepts employers need to understand to determine if a benefit they give their employees is taxable. Additional electronic CRA services are highlighted, including Direct Deposit, My Business Account, and help for persons with visual impairments. Click Here to learn more about this exciting new information series.
November 2016 - Businesses take notice: Your tax information just got clearer! - The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is redesigning the correspondence it sends to Canadians, including notices of assessment (NOA) and notices of reassessment (NOR). The CRA has made changes to how the notices are structured, designed, formatted, and written, making the information easier to read and understand. NOA and NOR assessments now displays the most important information clearly with the account summary on the first page. The text is easier to understand and includes only the most important information. Additional electronic CRA services are highlighted, including Direct Deposit, My Business Account, and help for persons with visual impairments. Click Here to learn more about the revised format.
October 2016 - CRA Business Tax Reminders - Did you know that the CRA provides a mobile app lets business users create custom reminders and alerts for key CRA due dates related to instalment payments, returns, and remittances? The Business Tax Reminders mobile app is recommended for small and medium-sized businesses, and allows users to a) create custom reminders for key CRA due dates related to instalment payments, returns, and remittances; and b) customize and tailor the reminder system for their personal business deadlines with either calendar or pop-up messages. Click Here to learn more about the CRA Business Tax Reminders mobile application.
August 2016 - Businesses: You can pay your taxes online through your bank or directly on the CRA website - In the event of a Canada Post postal disruption, you can use online payments to pay your business taxes to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). It’s more efficient than mailing a cheque, especially if you’re making more than one payment a year. Even if a postal disruption occurs, you are still required to make every effort to submit your payment on time to the CRA. Click Here to learn more about online services can help you meet your tax obligations on time to avoid late penalties and charges.
June 2016 - Tax and benefit implications during a postal disruption - In the event of a postal work stoppage, the CRA has posted a useful set of online options that can prevent businesses from encountering missed deadlines, late fees and other payment issues. If your business has an upcoming payroll remittance, business registration, due payment, etc., the CRA offers a list of online options that may assist. Click Here for more information.
May 2016 - IT Consultants - Employee or Self-employed? - If you're a small businesses with technology needs, a common route is to hire an IT consultant to perform the related services for you on an as-needed basis. However, it's important to know what the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) looks at when determining the consultant's employment status. The CRA offers a detailed article that explains the facts related to IT consultants and the indicators that can help you decide whether a consultant is an employee or a self-employed worker. Click Here for more information.
March 2016 - Completing Slips and Summaries - The CRA offers a reminder that payers who issue income slips, financial information slips, contract payments, must now use their business number instead of their filer identification number. Additionally, if your business is filing more than 50 information slips, you must file your information return electronically via XML or the CRA's Web Forms application. Click Here for more information.
February 2016 - Year-End Taxable Benefits Reporting - If you are providing your employees with taxable benefits (such as employer-provided life insurance), care should be taken at year end when assessing the benefit portion, especially if you have waited until the end of the year to calculate the value of the benefit and the related taxes. If you have performed these calculations periodically for each payroll cycle, the amounts should balance accordingly. If you have waited until year end to do so, the employee could face income tax liabilities when filing their personal income tax return. your business may also incur non-compliance penalties and potential audits from Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and Revenu Québec (RQ).
December 2015 - Review Year-to-Date (YTD) and Accrued Vacation Amounts - As year-end approaches, it's often deemed the most optimal time for companies to switch payroll providers. If you are making a switch, it's important to ensure that the YTD amounts are entered accurately for all employees who are in the payroll, particularly if they have been paid previously in the year. All payments must add up at the end of the year so that they may be accurately reflected in each employee's T4 and/or T4A. If the YTD amounts are incorrect, it could result in an overpayment of taxes and other source deductions like CPP or EI.
November 2015 - Taxable Employment Income - If an employee has personal and living expenses paid for by the employer, these amounts must be reported as taxable employment income. The exception would be if the employee falls under a specific exemption. Additionally, if an employee is provided free or subsidized housing, a taxable benefit that is equal to the fair market value minus any amount charged must also be charged. See the Benefits and Allowances and pages Board and Lodging pages on the CRA website for more information.
October 2015 - PD7A(TM), Statement of Account for Current Source Deductions - Remember that the CRA is now sending Form PD7A(TM) quarterly instead of monthly. You will have received your first quarterly statement this past July for the second quarter. The CRA sends Form PD7A(TM), Statement of Account for Current Source Deductions, to all employers who make accelerated remittances the month immediately following the end of each quarter. Click Here for more information.
August 2015 - WHMIS Workplace Requirements Portal - With this year's announcement of the changes to Canada's Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS 2015), the CCOHS has published a website to assist Canadians transition from the old WHMIS system to WHMIS 2015. WHMIS.org, Canada's National WHMIS Portal, provides Canadians with a single point of access to the most current information about WHMIS 2015 from all of the jurisdictions across Canada. The website also contains helpful tools and resources for workers, employers, suppliers and trainers. Click Here for more information.
June 2015 - Payroll "How To" Videos and Recorded Webinars - Did you know that the CRA provides your business access to a series of videos and recorded webinars that offer information about payroll and other CRA programs? The content can be streamed in your internet browser and is also available for free downloading. Click Here for more information.
April 2015 - Businesses Can Use PAD to Pay Taxes Online - Did you know that the CRA allows your business to make tax payments online directly via the pre-authorized debit (PAD) service? This feature is available through My Business Account and allows you to choose the bank account, the amount of the payment, and the specific date or dates for the payments. Click Here for more information.
January 2015 - Hiring an Apprentice - The AJCTC Tax Credit - Did you know that if you hire an "eligible apprentice", you may be able to claim the AJCTC - a non-refundable tax credit equal to 10% of their eligible salaries and wages? The maximum credit an employer can claim is $2,000 per year for each eligible apprentice (any unused credit may be carried back 3 years and carried forward 20 years). Click Here for more information.
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